'''Blind Willie Johnson''' (January 25, 1897 – September 18, 1945) was an American gospel blues
singer and guitarist and evangelism|evangelist
. His landmark recordings completed between 1927 and 1930—thirty songs in total—display a combination of powerful "chest voice
" singing, slide guitar
skills, and originality that has influenced later generations of musicians. Even though Johnson's records sold well, as a street performer and preacher he had little wealth in his lifetime. His life was poorly documented, but over time music historians such as Samuel Charters
have uncovered more about Johnson and his five recording sessions.
A revival of interest in Johnson's music began in the 1960s, following his inclusion on Harry Everett Smith|Harry Smith
's ''Anthology of American Folk Music
'', and by the efforts of the blues guitarist Reverend Gary Davis
. Johnson's work has become more accessible through compilation...